Friday, 2 December 2016

2 December 2016

This week, the Girls' Division welcomed poet Lemn Sissay for an emotional evening of readings and recollections. He offered a series of mesmerising poems from his new collection Gold from the Stone, as well as giving a moving and personal account of his life. This was a very special event for all who attended.

The Boys' Division has achieved its goal of raising £10,000 for charity through the sponsored walk to Rivington Pike which took place at the end of the summer term. Twenty charities will now receive donations of £500 in recognition of the school's 500th anniversary.

Year 12 pupils in both Divisions recently took part in the annual Business Challenge Day. In mixed teams, they took on the task of coming up with a new business proposition which they then had to pitch to a panel of judges after just one day to come up with a complete, working business plan. The judges were very impressed with the pupils' efforts. The four winning teams will take part in the final in early December.

Five Bolton School boys have been selected for ISFA teams this year. Two pupils made it through to the National U16 and U18 sides, while three boys in Year 8 have been selected for the North West team.

Girls from nineteen  local primary schools took part in an exciting STEAM Day in the Girls' Division as part of the School's Primary Liaison Programme. The Year 6 pupils took part in Science, Technology and ICT, Engineering, Art and Maths workshops on the day, all of which were themed around the Olympics and Team GB. From finding out how much energy is in food to creating their own desk tidy to take home, there were lots of new activities for the girls to try, and they enjoyed taking part in this inspiring event.

A group of Sixth Form linguists recently competed in the Northern Schools' Modern Foreign Languages Debating Competition. Five pairs took part, debating a variety of complex topics in French, German, Spanish and Russian, with the German team progressing all the way to the semi-finals.

Guitar teacher Jon Gyjlaci will be featured on BBC Radio 3's 'In Tune' drive-time programme. He is going to play live and give a short interview at shortly before or after the 6 o'clock news on Monday 5 December.

Boys' Division pupils have enjoyed browsing and buying from the Book Fair this week. Following the success and popularity of the Book Fair last year, the library staff decided to host it once again, and the boys have been really enthusiastic in taking advantage of the wonderful deals on offer.

Friday, 25 November 2016

25 November 2016

The highlight of the week was the final talk of the Tillotson Lecture Series, which was given by Old Boy and six-time 24 hour solo mountain bike racing World Champion Chris Eatough. Titling his address 'Long Distance Learning', he spoke about his life since leaving Bolton School and the lessons he has learned throughout his mountain biking career, offering an exciting insight into his sport.

Chris's full address and the question and answer session can be viewed in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Chris also found time during his visit to Bolton School to talk to the elite athletes in the Girls' and Boys' Divisions, and to address the Junior Boys and Girls. The pupils had lots of pertinent questions for Chris and were delighted to have the opportunity to talk to such a successful sportsman.

The Junior Girls got involved with the 'Big Spotacular' for Children in Need last week. They added spots and spotty accessories to their uniforms and made a donation when they came into school on the day. They made over £360 to give to charity.

Girls in Year 9 raised over £1,000 for Children in Need by putting on a series of cake and sweet sales over the course of a week. Girls' Division pupils gave generously to the cause in exchange for the delicious treats and raised lots of money for charity.

The Senior Concert Band has won a Platinum Award at the North's Regional Festival of the National Concert Band Festival, held in Oldham. The group of Boys' and Girls' Division pupils performed a challenging and mixed programme of pieces which impressed the judges on the day. They have now qualified to play at the national finals in April!

A group of Year 13 linguists enjoyed debating a wide range of challenging topics at this year's MFL North West Debating Competition. Three pairs of girls debated in Spanish, German and French, with the Spanish team making it all the way to the semi-final to go head-to-head with their rivals on the topical subject of Brexit!

The Year 10 girls recently enjoyed taking part in their Film Day, which was spent learning how to make films for themselves. They took part in a series of workshops with the Young Film Academy before putting together their own short films. Following a screening of all the films, one winning group received an Oscar for their efforts.

Year 10 pupil Cate Lord has been selected for the Manchester Thunder Netball Development Squad after playing well in two sets of trials.

Young Thai Kickboxing champion Marcus Williams in Year 7 has become the Double English Open Champion. This follows him becoming the World Junior Champion just last month.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Irving Wardle, who attended the Boys' Division from 1940 to 1947. He fondly remembers his time at the School, including his teachers Bill Brown and Frank Greene.

Friday, 18 November 2016

18 November 2016

Last week, plasma physicist Dr Melanie Windridge gave a fascinating lecture about the science behind the aurora, or northern lights. Talking about her own personal journey as she researched this phenomenon, she mentioned the places, people and stories she has encountered during her travels as well as explaining the physics that cause the auroral displays to light up the skies at night.

Bolton School water polo coach Mr Andy McGinty has been awarded the British Swimming Water Polo Coach of the Year Award. Mr McGinty, who divides his time between the School and the City of Manchester water polo club and has also done international duty, was delighted to receive this prestigious award.

Year 12 pupils enjoyed a wonderful and educational trip to Spain over the half term break. They stayed in El Puerto de Santa María near Cádiz in Andalusia for eight days, immersing themselves in Spanish culture for the duration.

Mr Hough, the Languages Coordinator at Bolton School Junior Boys' School, spent a productive half term in China, strengthening links with Honggangcheng Primary School and Changqingshu Experimental School in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

The Boys' Division Autumn Concert was a huge success, showing the diversity and depth of talent in the school. From poised renderings of Classical pieces to a Stevie Wonder medley, and culminating in a rousing conclusion from the massed voices of the Year 8 boys, this was an evening of music to remember.

Click here to watch a video of the Joint Chamber Choir performing 'Autumn Leaves' at the concert.

The U15 Netball team took part in the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament, where they emerged victorious in their age group.

All of the Girls' Division swimmers did well at this year's John Parry Relays, but the U15 team shone particularly bright, returning with two trophies in their name.

Year 9 pupil Anna recently found out she has been reselected for the Lancashire U14 Cricket squad!

The Junior Boys' School was invited to perform at the University of Manchester as part of the Confucius Institute's tenth anniversary celebrations. Three boys performed Kuai Ban at the event.

Children and parents alike had fun and found out more about the Infant School at a special Reception Class Taster Morning this week.

On 29 November, the Girls' Division will host poet Lemn Sisay MBE for a free lecture, which is open to the public. This is the next of the Girls' Division's hugely successful series of Arts and Science evening talks.

Photo: Aida Muluneh © 2013 Addis Ababa

Friday, 11 November 2016

11 November 2016

Boys' Division pupils paid particular tribute to Old Boys who lost their lives in South East Asia during the Remembrance Assembly held on 11 November this year. Six current pupils recalled the life stories of the six Old Boys who gave their lives in this part of the world during the First and Second World Wars. The assembly also recalled the life of Private James Rutter, an Old Boy whose name had been inexplicably omitted from the memorial boards. A new plaque commemorating Private Rutter has now been added to the Memorial Staircase in his honour.

In the Girls' Division, poetic and musical tributes were offered during the Remembrance Assembly. Miss Hincks reminded the gathered pupils, staff and over 50 Old Girls of the events of 100 years ago, particularly the Battles of the Somme, Verdun and Jutland. There were also a number of poetry readings and musical interludes as part of this moving occasion.

Patterdale Hall has achieved the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC) prestigious Gold Standard Award. This is a great achievement for the School's adventure learning centre in the Lake District, as the AHEOC sets a high bar for this award. The AHEOC also entitles Patterdale Hall to the LOTC Quality badge and the AAIAC Adventuremark.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 7 learned all about life in the Roman Legion from historical fiction author Ben Kane. Dressed as a Roman soldier and with lots of replica pieces of armour and weaponry to show to the boys, Ben talked about the realities of marching as a ember of the Roman army, drawing on his own personal experience of walking Hadrian's Wall in full Roman kit. The boys were fascinated by this informative and interesting talk. Ben also gave a similar talk to older pupils at lunch time.

The Junior Girls in Years 5 and 6 enjoyed a dynamic and interactive retelling of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, performed by the Young Shakespeare Company. The drama explored all of the main themes of the play while also allowing the girls to have lots of fun.

Boys in Years 7 and 8 have won a 360/VR storytelling competition run by Viar360 with their virtual reality tour of Bolton School. With help from Deputy Head (Academic) Mr Nic Ford, the boys in VR/360 Film Club put together a virtual reality tour, starting in the Riley Quad and moving through different areas of the School using 360 photos and videos.

The boys' virtual tour of the Boys' Division can be viewed here (select Panorama mode).

Children in Year 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, held a swashbuckling pirate-themed assembly and invited their parents along to watch. Inspired by The Pirates Next Door by Johnny Duddle, they sang songs and told stories based on their learning about pirates.

Old Boy Haseeb Hameed was named as England's opening batsman in the first Test match against India. Just fifteen months ago, he was picking up his A Level results at Bolton School, and since then has had a meteoric rise to the heights of cricket fame.

Well done to Year 7 pupil Marcus, who was recently crowned the World Junior Thai Kickboxing Champion! He won his title in Benidorm over the half term break, battling it out against an older Spanish contestant in a dramatic final over five rounds.

Meanwhile fellow Year 7 pupil Will has come 2nd in the North West Trampolining Competition. He has been involved with the sport for two and a half years, and in his first year made it to fourth place int he national finals!

A total of thirteen Girls' Division pupil have been selected this year for the U18 Lancashire Lacrosse A and B Squads, including one girl who is just 13 years old. One of the pupils was also named captain of the A Squad.

Three Bolton School girls have also been selected for the U14 Greater Manchester Football Squad.

Over the half term break, Bolton School pupil Jack and Jos played for ESSA's U16 Water Polo Squad in Malta. They were coached by Boys' Division Head of Chemistry Dr Yates and an Old Boy, Stephen Walsh, was the assistant coach.

Bolton School once again was a category sponsor at the MEN Business Awards. The School sponsored the Young Business of the Year Award, and the Clerk and Treasurer Cathy Fox was delighted to present the award to online fashion business Want That Trend.

This week's Inspiring Mind is recent leaver Haseeb Hameed. His profile includes some of his cricketing successes since he left Bolton School just over a year go, and also an extract from an interview with Mr Compton, Head of Cricket.

Friday, 28 October 2016

28 October 2016

Last Sunday, Boys' Division Chemistry teacher and University of Manchester lecturer Dr Kristy Turner appeared on BBC's Countryfile to explain a fascinating piece of chemistry relating to conkers. As part of the Countryfile Autumn Special, presenter Naomi Wilkinson looked at how the humble conker was used during the First World War to produce an ingredient vital to the manufacture of shells, and Dr Turner demonstrated the process in a woodland laboratory on camera.

As the half term drew to a close, the Junior Girls enjoyed a House Day filled with lots of fun activities. There was something for everyone to enjoy, from blindfold obstacle courses to writing poetry and even the chance to develop circus skills. All of the pupils enjoyed taking part and getting to know the other girls in their House.

The final matches of the 2016 cricket season have now been played with the Bolton School teams acquitting themselves well in the face of tough opposition and often challenging conditions. The U15s made it all the way to the National Finals at Arundel, while the U13s and U14s both played Lancashire Cup Finals.

There were lots of success stories from the Girls' Division sports teams at the end of the half term. The U16 netball team made it to the final of the Bolton Schools' Netball Tournament, where they came second.

The U18 netball team took part in the National Schools' Netball Tournament, achieving a series of excellent wins in the opening rounds and making it through to the semi-finals. However, the opposition proved too strong in the semi-final and they came in third place.

The Year 7 and Year 8 girls competed in the Bolton Schools' Cross Country Championships, which were held at Smithills School, where both teams did well. Pupils in both age groups ranked highly enough to be offered a spot on the Bolton town team for the Manchester championships in February!

In addition, Georgina Owen and Cate Lord have been re-selected for County-level netball squads this year. This is a great achievement for both girls, who are playing up into higher age brackets.

In the Boys' Division, pupils studying Business and Economics were offered insight into the workings of the Bank of England and the recession by Old Boy Paul Alexander, who now works at the Bank. He also spoke with boys competing in the Target 2.0 competition run by the Bank of England to offer them advice on analysing economic conditions.

Year 8 pupil Matthew Mair recently competed in the National Road Relay Championships as part of a team of three. He ran the last leg of the 3.4km hilly route and his team achieved fourth place overall out of 66 teams from across the UK!

The Junior Boys joined forces with the Brixi Singers for an evening of entertainment in the Boys' Division Great Hall. The two choirs raised their voices to perform a number of pieces, both together and separately, which made for a spectacular evening.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Valerie Stevens, whose life-long career as an environmental campaigner saw her on the Board of Management of Friends of the Earth and chair of Optimum Population Trust (now Population Matters). Her profile includes reflections on a career spent addressing the problems the world faces, her fond memories of School, and advice to current pupils to "Be part of the solution!"

Friday, 21 October 2016

21 October 2016

Pupils at Bolton School and visitors from the wider community learned some 'Leadership Lessons from the Tudors' in a special lecture from TV historian Dr Susannah Lipscombe. She encapsulated the lessons into twenty bite-sized messages, each one with a Tudor example. Her talk was warmly received and there was a lively question and answer session afterwards.

The much-anticipated shortlist for the Bolton Children's Fiction Award 2017 has been announced. Extracts from the six books were read out by Sixth Form pupils before an audience of Year 7 boys and girls, and the shortlist was simultaneously live-tweeted from the Bolton School Library account. There was excitement in the Great Hall as each book was announced and pupils started to plan their reading for the months head leading up to the voting in May, and the Award Ceremony in June.

Pupils from the Girls' and Boys' Divisions were joined by St Joseph's pupils for a Media and Digital Media Day where they were inspired by talks from BBC Breakfast's Mike Bushell, former journalist and TV presenter Sarah Jones, Old Boy Mike Lodmore, and a host of other speakers from this fascinating field. With talks on virtual reality, radio and TV broadcasting, behind the scenes and post-production work, and much more, this was a fascinating day for everyone.

Year 6 pupil Toby enjoyed fantastic golfing success over the summer, and completed the season with yet another win in an Under 18s competition. He came away from the final junior competition of the summer as the winner of Bolton Golf Club's J. Maxwell Trophy.

The children at Beech House enjoyed a session with Travelling by Tuba, a musical duo who took them on a whistle-stop tour around the world and back in time through the wonders of music. They learned about a variety of different instruments, from the tiny ocarina to the huge alpine horn, and even got to try to play some themselves!

The Year 3 pupils at Hesketh House learned all about healthy eating at The H Factor. This special session run by the catering staff introduced them to new fruits and vegetables and got them to start thinking about what makes a healthy meal.

Jamie Death in Year 7 has become the Great British Minors Champion at Judo while at the British Minors Judo Championship, which was held in Edinburgh. His family is very proud of his success.

At the start of October, the Sixth Form girls' popular intergenerational tea party, Tea at the Riley, returned with a Harvest theme. As well as their delicious hand-made afternoon tea the guests were treated to musical entertainment from Beech House Choir.

The Boys' Division PA invited a personal trainer to speak to parents at their 'Teenage Journey' series of talks focusing on different aspect of boys' growing up. The subject was Heath and Fitness, and he was able to give some great tips and useful information about staying healthy through correct diet and exercise during these key years.

The Senior Girls once again collected food at Harvest, with their sterling efforts being donated to local charity Urban Outreach. In the Girls' Division Harvest assembly, Year 7 pupils talked about homelessness in Bolton and the work Urban Outreach does, and Amy Scoble in Year 8 spoke about her volunteering with the charity.

The Junior Girls were visited by Travelling by Tuba to learn more about musical instruments. They were delighted by the wide variety of music that was played by the pair of musicians and found out huge amounts of historical and musical information in the fun and interactive session.

Bolton School Girls' Division will host another free lecture titled Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights on Wednesday 9 November. Plasma physicist and author Dr Melanie Windridge will discuss this fascinating phenomenon, interweaving the science with a background of their history, folklore and changing landscape.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Lord Robert Haslam. He attended the Boys' Division from 1934 to 1941, and was Chairman of Governors from 1990 to 1997, succeeding the Third Viscount Leverhulme and following his own stint as Chairman of British Coal! His varied school life, career and time as a Governor is summarised in extracts from The Boltonian.

Friday, 7 October 2016

7 October 2016

The Junior Girls celebrated National Poetry Day this week. Members of Book Club handed out gifts of poetry to the rest of the School, and the girls were encouraged to read their poems aloud to one another. They really enjoyed becoming performance poets for the day!

The Year 9 Netball team made it all the way to the final of the GSA's Netball Tournament, competing against opponents from across the country! They did extremely well to come in second place in the competition, and also had the opportunity to meet England netballers over the course of the weekend event.

Well-Good - the charitable project set up by Girls' Division maths teachers Mr Heppleston and Mr Hitchin which allows pupils to provide clean water to the developing world by solving maths problems - has now funded its first well! Girls' Division pupils completed enough maths problems last year to fund the building of a well in a small rural community in Pakistan, which is a wonderful achievement.

The Junior Girls held their annual Harvest celebration assembly this week with the donations of food once again going to Urban Outreach. The girls were thanked by Laura Bagley, a representative from the charity who also told them more about the important work that Urban Outreach does in Bolton and the surrounding area.

The new manager of Bolton School's Nursery, Miss Joanne Hewitt, has enjoyed her first few weeks in the role. Reflecting on her career to date and her new position, Miss Hewitt was delighted to join Bolton School and is looking forward to her future as the head of the Nursery.

Last week, the Junior Boys' Parents' Association held a Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise money for cancer research. The library at Park Road was packed with guests for this event and everyone was made to feel welcome over warm drinks and delicious cakes.

The Year 9 girls enjoyed an Army Leadership Day last week where they were asked to put their skills to the test in a series of challenges designed to improve their teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills. The morning was also organised to help the girls gain confidence and develop their leadership qualities. They really enjoyed taking part in the tasks and finding out more about life in the army.

The Year 8 girls were also off their usual timetable last week for five days of enrichment activities: a trip to Patterdale Hall, visiting Jodrell Bank, and ICT and Music workshops in school. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the activities throughout the week and threw themselves into each new challenge with a great deal of enthusiasm.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girl Vicky Connelly. She attended Bolton School from 1993 to 2000 and remembers the visit of Princess Diana to School when she was in Year 7! She is now Global Procurement Manager for a pharmaceutical company and also a dedicated triathlete, running Ironman events throughout Europe, and has also taken part in the Marathon des Sables 250Km foot race through the Sahara earlier this year!